Growth Check-In – 2 years

It’s been quite a long while since I did one of these.

At almost 2 years and 1 month, Elizabeth:

  • Still runs and climbs with reckless abandon. There is hardly anything she will not at least try to scale or an area that she will not try to explore (ask the folks at the credit union from yesterday, LOL).
  • Understands most of what is said to her and follows directions (eg, put the toys down so we can put your jacket on).
  • Says: mama, dada, hi, car, door, cat, Sid, cup, baby, uh oh, tickle-tickle-tickle, chin, ear, eye, hair, heart, toot-toot, boot, shoe, shirt, cray (crayon/marker)
  • She knows most of her colors and can name yellow, blue, green, red, and purple fairly consistently.
  • She knows her shapes, can match different shaped blocks to the shapes in the lid.
  • Tries out the words that she hears from you, ex. “chuga chuga choo choo”
  • LOVES coloring and drawing. We have run through three or four books of Color Wonder pages.
  • Has decided she wants to be a big girl and drink what Mommy and Daddy drink, to the tune of stealing sips of soda and coffee when we are out of the room.
  • Has decided that she likes to have her own quiet time in her rocking chair in her room by herself
  • Has her favorite books that she enjoys “reading”.
  • Loves technology – tablet, Kindle, phone, etc. – if it has a touch screen, she loves it.
  • Sings to herself, play Pat-a-Cake
  • Shows a extroverted nature that enjoys being around people
  • Has learned to pout when she doesn’t get her way, crocodile tears. Still throws angry fits when she is upset, which usually amount to her flopping herself on the floor and wailing. We are doing our best to be consistent in that her fits garner her no attention, nor does she get what she is after by throwing them.
  • Thoroughly enjoys the outdoors and hates having to come inside.
  • Loves to wash her hands and will brush her teeth on her own, loves to stand on the footstool and look in the bathroom mirror while she does it.
  • Understands and communicates beyond the few words that she can say, ie, pointing at what she wants, coming when you call her, stopping what she is doing when you say “stop” (though she doesn’t like it and will show you that she doesn’t like it), going to the gate, and then running to her room after it’s opened, when she is ready for bedtime.
  •  Has learned to go to people, grab their hand, and pull them up when she wants them to go somewhere or to get something for her.

She is doing something new every day and I am constantly amazed by my daughter. ^_^

18-month Check-In

Since we will be the walking dead on the 19th (we will be traveling home from visiting my family), I figured I should go ahead and do this now. 🙂

At eighteen months, Elizabeth:

  • Runs and climbs with reckless abandon. There is hardly anything she will not at least try to scale or an area that she will not try to explore (ask the folks at the credit union from yesterday, LOL).
  • Understands a great deal of what is said to her.
  • Can read body cues/facial expressions. Ex., if I come into the room and Elizabeth has a hold of something that she clearly knows she is not supposed to have, she will either toss it down or hold it out for me to take from her, ie my fountain pen. This sort of acquiescent behavior only occurs, however, when it isn’t something that she *desperately* wants to keep, like the hair tie that she just pulled out of her pigtail.
  • Says: mumum/mama, dada, hi, ba (we aren’t sure just what it stands for or if it’s just sound practice), nana, dum (done), uh oh, & tickle-tickle-tickle (which we just figured out the other day were indeed the unknown sounds she was making).
  • Tries out sounds that she hears from you, ex. the “j” in “juice”. She spent a whole afternoon going, “Zhhhh”, trying to get the “juh” sound.
  • Enjoys coloring and drawing.
  • Can play the notes on her little piano in order (and is always very proud and pleased when she does so).
  • Loves to push buttons and figure out what they do (there’s an on-going love affair with the TV/Playstation remotes).
  • Has begun showing interest in and looking at her books on her own and not just eating them
  • Shows a extroverted nature that enjoys being around people and dislikes it intensely when they or she have to leave (it is soap opera-level tears when we have to say “bye bye” to grandparents).
  • Has begun to show preference/dislike for certain foods, though we can often get her to try anything at least once or twice (still loves vegetables, though).
  • Thoroughly enjoys the outdoors and hates having to come inside.
  • Now HATES to brush her teeth (which has thrown Mommy over the stressed edge the past few days)
  • Understands and communicates beyond the few words that she can say, ie, pointing at what she wants, coming when you call her, stopping what she is doing when you say “stop” (though she doesn’t like it), going to the gate, and then running to her room after it’s opened, when she is ready for bedtime.
  • Is developing a distinctly headstrong personality. Her newest trick to avoid doing what she doesn’t want to do is to pretend to be asleep. If you say, “Elizabeth, give me (insert whatever she isn’t supposed to have here)” and she doesn’t want to give it up, she will either lie on the floor on her belly and shut her eyes OR she will throw her arm over her face and, in both instances, pretend to be asleep. (The arm over the face is how her grandmother sleeps, by the by). Eventually, she will peek and see if you’ve given up and gone away yet and gets peeved if it doesn’t work, which it doesn’t. Ever. LOL
  • Throws angry fits when she is upset, which usually amount to her flopping herself on the floor and wailing. We are doing our best to be consistent in that her fits garner her no attention, nor does she get what she is after by throwing them. They never last long, thankfully.

She grows and changes and develops constantly, as children do. I know. But it never stops being amazing and frustrating and pride-inducing, as well as tear-inducing. She is our girl and we love her and I really can’t wait to see what sort of girl she is developing into. I just pray that I – we – will have the most positive impact on her life possible.

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Month 11

11 MonthsWe interrupt our regularly scheduled program to bring you this special post. My little girl is 11 months old today! YAY! One month more. She’s growing so quickly, I tell you.

Elizabeth is now:

  • smiling socially at almost everyone; it’s rare that she isn’t at ease with people.
  • imitating and practicing the sounds that you make, like ‘m’, ‘b’, and ‘g’, and expecting you to imitate/talk with her.
  • clapping her hands when she’s pleased or enjoying something (she apparently stood on her feet for a full minute and clapped at “Fraggle Rock” last night).
  • saying “mama” and “dada” with some discrimination.
  • recognizing faces and voices, such as her grandparents, and shows joy at them and is sad/cries when they leave.
  • very social with other babies, the few times she’s been around them.
  • standing on her own, walk with her walker or assistance, as well as take a few steps on her own (her first two came on 11-12-13).
  • holding steady at only two teeth on the bottom but we shall see how things progress.
  • constantly on the move, playing, exploring, etc. She is only still when she sleeps.

Elizabeth loves to sit and look at pictures of her family. She has a little book with pictures in plastic envelopes of her family and she likes to sit and thumb through it. She is learning to turn the pages in books and that is one of her favorite things to do….besides eat the books. She loves paper and will probably poop out a book one of these days.

I am amazed day by day, even when I am weary, worn, and frustrated. She never ceases to amaze me.

Month 10

10 monthsIt’s rather amazing how a few rounds of give it/get it and a few Superbaby lifts can brighten a gloomy day. Elizabeth and I had some great cuddle and playtime together after her nap today, before she decided that she wanted to play on her own again. I think it’s been decided that Michael Buble is her favorite singer next o Daddy and Lammy-Lamb is her best friend.

In two days, my daughter will be ten months old. How on God’s green earth has it been ten months already? Where did my tiny munchkin go? She’s growing so quickly that it makes me cry sometimes. But she’s beautiful and so smart and such a happy girl; I have so much to be thankful for. She makes her grandparents so happy and the people around our little town love her, one older gentleman (old enough to be my grandfather) even going so far as to call her “his baby”. It’s very cute. He had me pull her stroller around to his wife’s side of the car one day while we were walking so she could see Elizabeth. I like that my girl is a happy maker. 🙂

Right now, Elizabeth is:

  • Pull up to standing
  • Stand on her own for a few seconds at a time
  • Cruise along holding the furniture
  • Pick things up easily with her thumb and forefinger and pass things from hand to hand as well as from herself to another person easily
  • Feed herself with a sippy cup
  • Say ‘mama’ and ‘dada’ deliberately as well as indiscriminately

Elizabeth shows interest in a myriad of things.We have yet to find another cartoon that she enjoys as much as “My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic”, although she did laugh at “Lilo and Stitch”. She loves being outside, either going for walks in her stroller or driving around in Grandma and Grandpa’s golf cart, and playing with other children. She loves kids, is simply fascinated by them. It’s really rather adorable. We have begun saying prayers with her at night before her bedtime bottle and she is getting more and more used to it. Last Sunday, she went up with the other girls for the Children’s Message and then with them to the nursery for Junior Church where she made her first Sunday School craft. I’m very much a proud momma and I look forward to another month of growth and just being amazed by my little girl. 🙂

Month 8

8 MonthsElizabeth is 8 months old today. 8 whole months! Right now. she can:

  • Crawl fairly well
  • Sit up on her whole fully
  • Move to crawling from sitting and sitting from crawling
  • Say “mama”, “dada”, “nana”, and “baba” indiscriminately for the most part
  • Pick up finger foods (Gerber crackers) and feed herself
  • Show preference for toys and object if they are taken away
  • Enjoy/show preference for particular parts of her routine (walks outside, saying night-night to the house)

I am thrilled day by day to watch her change and grow, play and sleep. She’s very outgoing with adults and other children thus far. When she and Amelia were last together, Elizabeth stretched out her arms as if to give Amelia a hug, though the poor girl is more shy than Elizabeth but my girl was gentle. They did “talk” together for a little bit and it was adorable. That personality of hers is more evident than ever, as is her curiosity. True to form of any baby that crawls, she enjoys getting into everything. She’s bonked her bean on the entertainment center once already, as well as exploring the living room. She has not yet worked up the courage to venture through the doorway and into the kitchen. The floor feels different and banks her courage.

She grows more and more beautiful every day and I am constantly amazed by her features. We have decided that she takes after her grandmothers a great deal in her looks. That smile is bright and shining and, as I like to say, she ‘makes happy’ wherever she goes. I have had people stop me in the grocery store to look at her and, after getting a lovely smile from Elizabeth, one woman in particular told me “Thank you! That just made my day.” And that made mine. Keep on being an encourager and making happy, Bizzy. It is a blessing beyond anything you will ever understand. 🙂

Month 7

Elizabeth is two days away from officially being seven months old (7/19/13), and she continues to grow by leaps and bounds and amaze me with her personality and progress each day. Within the last month, Elizabeth has been:

  • sitting up by herself when you set her down on the floor
  • giggling when you tickle her
  • picking her toys up and passing them from hand to hand
  • showing interest in particular toys
  • problem-solving when she faces situations that she isn’t familiar with (ie, rolling herself up in a blanket and then unrolling herself to get out)
  • squealing as a way of communicating
  • pushing herself up onto her hands and knees and, sometimes, onto her hands and toes
  • “panting” when she gets very excited abut something or someone, ie, when Daddy walks into the room

DSC_0883Elizabeth has more personality than ever. She loves her family and is always happy to see them, whether in person or on Skype. She studies new people closely usually before gifting them with a smile. She enjoys walks before naptime and bouncing along in her walker to “My Little Pony” or “Super Hero Squad”. She loves music and the weather on the news. You cannot talk to her or feed her while there is music to be heard.

Speaking of feeding, her solid food is progressing along. She loves to eat. She has apple-banana rice cereal for breakfast in the morning and then baby food for dinner – usually dinner combos like turkey and rice or chicken noodle lately. The only thing that she tends to be tentative at eating is fruit, still, but I can usually get her to take a few bites at least. She loves veggies and her combo dinners. Dear girl definitely got her mother’s appetite.

As I said, I am always stunned at her progress and the girl she is growing into. I am so excited to see what comes next.

Month 6

Wow! It has been quite a month! Elizabeth is growing every day and her personality shines through more than ever. This month, we took our first trip as a family, flying down to the Cayman Islands to visit my family. This was Elizabeth’s first trip, first time on a plane. She traveled MUCH better than her mommy. She was so excited about being in a hotel the night before that she didn’t sleep until 10pm, and was still bright-eyed and bushy-tailed at 3:30am when we woke up to get ready to leave for the airport for our 7:30am flight. She

ready to fly

Ready to fly

asleep on the plane

Asleep on the plane

just looked at everything. I just wanted to kick everyone; there’s nothing that makes my introverted nature go as haywire as traveling. However, Elizabeth traveled very well. She slept on both flights and through both landings and was relatively easy as pie in and of herself.

This was not only Elizabeth’s first trip, it was also her first time meeting her maternal grandfather. They got off to a rocky start, I will admit. When we arrived at my parents’ house, Dad greeted us at the door and approached Elizabeth. My father is a very boisterous personality and we think that he came on a touch too strongly for poor Elizabeth, who had never seen him before and heard his voice only once. She began to cry. To his credit, Dad backed off and gave her the space to learn where she was and who she was with and get comfortable. The next morning, he approached her after she’d had her breakfast, while Granny was holding her, and she smiled at him. They became fast friends, taking walks in the back yard in the mornings after her breakfast time with my mom. We Skyped with him this morning and he told her that she had stolen his heart away when she had left.

Elizabeth and Grandpa Ed

Elizabeth and Grandpa Ed

On Sunday night while we were there, Ben and I let the grandparents take Elizabeth to church while we went for a beach walk. It was as much to have some time alone as to let them show off Elizabeth on their own. She is their first and only granddaughter after all. Everyone cooed and awwed and marveled at her, which they might well do. She is rather awesome, as Ben and I have decided. It amused me to no end to see my childhood home transformed into a haven for my daughter, with foam playmat squares with alphabet letters and numbers, along with a pack-and-play, in the living room, a walker sitting in the corner. Space for her clothes in my closet. A crib for her in my parents’ bedroom. A booster seat for her at the table in the kitchen. Granny was ready indeed. Everything went well; she was extremely comfortable and happy in their home and that makes me incredibly happy.

Elizabeth has made herself quite mobile of late, rolling freely this way and that, scooching herself around to reach something, and vocalizing to make herself heard and desires known (usually for bottle/food or bedtime). Still no sitting up fully or crawling yet but she’s working on it. She is a smart, problem-solving child and she makes me happy every single day.

Month 5

DSC_0552Tomorrow, my girl, my Elizabeth, my Bizzy, will be five months old. It boggles the mind that so much time has passed already. She is growing so fast. She’s a smiley, happy, energetic girl who loves her family and giggles readily. We are working on getting her to roll over steadily. She enjoys rolling onto her side and craning her neck to see the people around her or reach for toys but her follow-through sometimes needs a little nudge. 🙂

She has also begun eating solid foods. We started with rice cereal and then progressed through a week of sweet potatoes. We have now moved on to squash. Her pediatrician recommended starting with vegetables, one for a week at a time, to see if any allergic reactions show up. Also, to start with vegetables so that she doesn’t get used to the sweet of fruits and not want her veggies later. Starting the good eating habits early. So far, she isn’t a picky eater, though the rice cereal seems suspect in her eyes now that she’s had other foods. 🙂

Elizabeth has also begun fighting naps sometimes, especially in the afternoons. There’s just so much to see and do, how can Mommy possibly think of sleeping? But, eventually, she draws her blanket up to her face (my little Linus) and conks out.

I am enjoying the time with Elizabeth immensely and am even more glad that school is almost out for the summer and that her daddy will be able to spend more time with her, which I know he wants.

I am extremely thankful every day for a daughter who is healthy and growing well. Those were some of my biggest fears after what my mother went through with my own premature birth and time in NICU, and I have been incredibly blessed with how well Elizabeth is doing.

I am looking forward to this summer with my little girl and family.

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Month 4 (almost)

Holding her toy

Elizabeth is one week away from officially being four months old (4/19/13), and I have to admit that I am stunned at the progress that she has made since her 3 month check-up. I was worried for a little bit that she wasn’t meeting milestones that other babies were but she has surprised me, of course. Within the last month, Elizabeth has begun:

  • smiling socially (though she can tell if you’re faking it)
  • laughing, even at things of her own devising (like spitting up on Mommy)
  • grasping her toys with both hands and bringing them to her
  • bringing her hands together in front of her
  • noticing and paying attention to her hands all that they can do
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Pushing up during tummy time

  • pushing up on her arms and lifting her head when on her belly “talking” and expressing some emotion with those sounds, such as scolding her toys when they upset her

 

Elizabeth also continues to show immense personality. I think she has become more aware of when she is alone now and doesn’t like it (she’s very social). So we have had a few screaming fits this week that were solved only by copious cuddles (not that I mind). But they had to be cuddles of a specific sort; one of these is being held against Mommy or Daddy’s chest near the television so she has something to distract her from whatever is making her upset. Usually, once that calm is achieved, she falls asleep. After a nap, she always seems better. 🙂

I think Bizzy also has become aware of who has her, is holding her or caring for her. I could tell when my mother visits, or when she is with Grandma and Grandpa Snyder, that she tends to cut up a bit more at times. Maybe because she knows that they will give her complete attention when/if she fusses. A little spoiled for the grandparents, hmm? Nothing wrong with that.

As I said, I am stunned at her progress but so pleased and proud! I only hope that her pediatrician will agree that her progress is appropriate.

Month 3

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Yesterday, Elizabeth turned three months old. It is hard to believe that my baby girl is so big and I pray that she’s not too big for her age. I will find out from her doctor when I take her in for a check-up tomorrow. On the whole, though, she is healthy and happy. She smiles regularly now, coos often, plays energetically, and responds to familiar faces and voice (mine, her Daddy’s, and her grandparents’). She is still bright-eyed, aware, and curious, always looking around and taking in her surroundings.

Elizabeth has never been a huge fan of tummy time and grows less and less tolerant of it the older she gets, it seems. It frustrates her that all that movement doesn’t get her anywhere and that, I think, she’s still not strong enough to turn herself over. I am hoping that she will still develop her upper body adequately. She is doing better with control when she sits up with help, though her head is still a bit wobbly. However, she is quite the little owl, turning her head this way and that to see everything around her, or fixating on something like a light and just staring as though contemplating the mysteries of the universe.

Elizabeth is sleeping fairly well, going down pretty regularly between 8 and 9 at night and sleeping for about four or five hours, depending on the night. She seems to have learned that her crib is for sleeping so when she is put down in it at night, she relaxes. The main light in her room is always off when she is put in her crib for bedtime, she’s given her pacifier, and I turn on her music box to classical music, which usually sends her off to Dreamland. When she’s out, the pacifier lies on the mattress next to her, I turn off the music box and that’s that. She wakes up twice a night now and it’s bottle, change, and back down to sleep. She’s up between 8 and 9 in the morning and is a smiley morning person, which is rather funny as neither Ben nor I are bright-eyed and bushy-tailed in the morning. Ah well, I’m glad she’s a pleasant girl.

We read together and she seems to enjoy the brightly-colored pictures of the story- and picture books (both from her collection and mine). I love reading to her and hope that, somewhere, it’s enjoyable for her, too. We are also learning to enjoy bath time. Her last bath was conducted without fuss and without tears and even with a few smiles as Mommy splashed her feet and in the water and sang “How Very Special Are We”.

I still love it when Elizabeth allows me to lean her against my shoulder and cuddle her close to me, feeling her soft little head against my cheek. She will usually allow me to hold her close after tummy time, while she catches her breath and she leans against me. I hope that, as she grows and begins to show more personality and preferences, that she will enjoy being held and cuddled as much as she loves to stretch out and kick. When he comes home from work, Ben spends beautiful time with Elizabeth, making her smile and talking to her in German and Spanish as she babbles back to him. He feeds her, changes her, holds her, plays with her, sings to her, gives her kisses, and loves on her, and I adore it. It is one of the beautiful things I have ever seen and it makes my day to see it every evening.

I’m still loving being home with her every day, and we are making it well enough financially. I am learning some money-saving ins and outs. I clip coupons, have the apps for all my normal stores on my phone with the specials updates, I shop what’s on sale, I stock up, and I make use of gift card deals. So while we are living on less than what we had before, we are still incredibly blessed and doing just fine. Bizzy has everything she needs, we have a roof over our heads, food on our table, and clothes on our backs. And we have each other. We are family.

Update: Elizabeth is now 24 inches long/tall and weighs 14 lbs. Oh, my girl. You’re growing up too quickly for Mommy’s liking. LOL

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My dress is pretty! Look! ^_^